Israel’s Cabinet is expected to vote on a bill on Sunday which calls for up to 10-year jail terms for anyone who distributes video or audio footage of IDF Soldiers. Once the bill is approved by the Cabinet it is guaranteed a majority in Knesset votes.
While proponents claim the bill’s purpose is to protect soldiers’ ‘morale,’ the legislation is clearly aimed at muzzling watchdog groups who use video footage to document the Israeli army’s actions.
In response, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch said: “In Israel, as elsewhere in the world, video footage of police and military activity has become an important tool for human rights groups and the media. It’s part of how citizens can blow the whistle on wrongdoing by authorities. We’ve seen that from Abu Ghraib to the case of Philando Castile. Tyrants restrict the rights of people to record what happens around them; democracies don’t.”